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Archive for November 15th, 2018


Matthew 7:1-5: The Spirit of Arrogance

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Written on June 6 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

This may be the most difficult challenge we have before us – the stepping away from judgmental thoughts, words and actions.  It is so easy for us to remind ourselves and others that only God can really know what is in our hearts and minds while at the same time thinking that we know more than God knows.  There is something in our human nature that assesses the faults in others more readily than in ourselves.  We have a way of explaining away or excusing our own behavior while at the same time criticizing that of others.

Jesus is recorded as giving us this advice in this Gospel and in Luke 6:37-42 where Jesus shows how well he knows us.  We want to remove specks from others’ eyes while ignoring the planks in our own.

From the CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE notes (Senior 17): “This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would hardly be compatible with vv 5 and 6, but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.  Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the Christian disciple who is concerned with the faults of others and ignores his own more serious offenses”. 

Humility is the characteristic we most need to refine in ourselves if we hope to overcome “the spirit of arrogance”.  Christ himself exhibits this to a remarkable degree when we consider that he comes as God yet acts as a human.  He is able to calm storms on the sea and also gather the small children to himself.  He watches over the marginalized: widows and orphans, the blind and lame, the poor.  He admonishes those who take advantage of the underclass.  He calls all of us to service and justice.

Stop judging, that you might not be judged . . . The measure that you measure with is measured out to you.

How do we hope to be measured?  Do we stand up to our own scrutiny?  And in the moments of judgment that we experience, how do we measure up?


A re-post from October 13, 2011.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.17. Print.   

Image from: http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/UnmaskingHypocrite.html 

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